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June 9, 2009

I had the same reaction that Omar had upon the news that Tim Floyd had submitted his resignation. Here come the Jamie Dixon to USC rumors — again.

“As of 1 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Souithern California. I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the university, as well as the chance to know and work with some of the finest young men in college athletics. Unfortunately, I no longer feel I can offer the level of enthusiasm to my duties that is deserved by the university, my coaching staff, my players, their families, and the supporters of Southern Cal. I always promised my self and my family that if I ever felt I could no longer give my full enthusiasm to a job, that I should leave it to others who could. I intend to contact my coaching staff and my players in coming days and weeks to tell them how much each of them means to me. I wish the best to USC and to my successor.”

Realistically, those rumors will have no truth. Even if, for the sake of argument, that Coach Jamie Dixon was interested/attracted to the USC job when it appeared Floyd was leaving for Arizona in April. The situation has changed. Beyond the potential sanctions looming over USC Athletics, no coach with the reputation and talent that Coach Dixon has earned would leave for a new job in June.

Especially when you consider that Dixon will also be involved in coaching the USA U19 team next month. He just does not have the time to even consider a move.

Right now, USC is screwed. Most likely they will have to go with promoting one of the assistants as interim coach for this coming season. No coach of any quality will go near the job until the NCAA violations are resolved. Couple in the fact that it is the second week of June, and there just aren’t many candidates out there.

Right now USC basketball is a sinkhole, few coaches would touch.

It Was Blair’s Diet

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA,Players — Chas @ 9:59 am

Summer vacation is underway for the kids. Either them or me will have to be put under heavy sedation by July if the first day was any indication.

I noted that the big difference in how quickly DeJuan Blair shed the pounds after declaring for the draft was primarily diet. Sure enough, Blair confirmed that this was a big factor.

“I stopped eating a lot of bad food,” Blair said. “I don’t know if it’s bad for you, but it was for me. Used the DeJuan Blair diet: high protein, steaks, salmon, lots of water. Disciplined myself what to eat. I feel lighter on my feet, and the strength is still there. That ain’t going anywhere.”

Especially cutting out the fast food.

When Blair was in town for a few days this week, he had dinner with a friend. The friend was shocked to hear him order a grilled chicken salad. He no longer eats bread products and has sworn off the fast food that he enjoyed so frequently during his college days.

“My nutritionist took me to the nutrition store and bought me a bunch of stuff, told me what I could eat and not eat,” Blair said. “I’m not around McDonald’s and Wendy’s down here. Discipline is the biggest thing. You can’t eat certain foods. You have to eat what’s good for you.

“It’s going well. I’m losing weight and I’m changing my body. I feel really good. I took off a lot of fat and put on muscle. Now I’m quicker and lighter.”

It’s hard to resist that stuff. Especially in college — big-time player on a national power or not — Blair was in a completely controlled envrionment at the IMG Academy that forced him to eat one way. The mix of seeing the rapid results, climbing the mock draft boards (which Blair follows closely) and knowing what it means for his future appears to have provided (at least in the short term) a significant incentive to stay in control of his eating habits.

Blair will be hoping to be one of 15 players invited to the NBA Draft. These are the players most likely to go in the first 14 picks of the lottery.  Even if he doesn’t get the invite, I’m hoping he crashes the event. I’d love to see the big guy take the stage. I really, really want to see the suit he picks.

Milwaukee has the 10th pick, and they are bringing him in on Wednesday. Their scouting director spoke glowingly of Blair, as BrewHoop has the transcript.

What I like about him…I’d be here all day. He’s tough, he rebounds, he understands the game. He’s a true power forward, and you look around the NBA and you see so many teams playing with smaller lineups. And here’s a guy that’s not the biggest guy in the world but he plays his position great. He rebounds, he defends, he’ll block shots, he’ll operate out of the low post, he’s a good passer, and he plays the game with a passion.

Perhaps a bit of smoke blowing, and with the knee issue getting played up a bit, it might scare some teams off of Blair. Of course, compared to maybe needing a new liver or an aneurysm still in the brain, knee problems don’t seem that bad.

Coach Dixon coached briefly in Hawaii. He met his wife there. I believe her family still lives there. And when he goes back, he can deduct the cost on taxes with a business related appearance.

Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach and former Hawaii assistant Jamie Dixon will be one of the featured coaches today at the Punahou Summer Camp coaches clinic.

The clinic will be held today and Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Punahou. Dixon is scheduled to appear only at today’s session.

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